111 cases of diphtheria with 22 deaths between December 1, 2022 and the third week in January 2023, have been confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC).
The diphtheria situation report from the NCDC showed Kano State has the highest burden of confirmed cases – 107, with 21 confirmed deaths.
Lagos State reported one confirmed case with one death, Yobe State with two confirmed cases and no death, and Osun State with one confirmed case and no death.
A week ago, the NCDC reported 123 confirmed cases with 38 deaths. However, an investigation by The Nation showed that the figure reported earlier was not accurate as the data sent in by the States were for suspected diphtheria cases and not confirmed cases. Hence, the decrease in the number of confirmed cases and deaths in the latest report.
However, the Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, said: “Surveillance for diphtheria is still a challenge which we are working with the partners at the state level to improve. The first Sitrep offers the correct data for suspected cases rather than confirmed cases.”
The NCDC report stated: “Between the first to the third week of January, a total of 132 suspected cases were reported from two (2) States: Kano 130 (98.5 percent); Yobe 2 (1.5 percent). Of the suspected cases reported, 89 (67.4 percent) were confirmed (clinically compatible), 6 (4.5 percent) were discarded and 37 (28.0 percent) are pending classification.
“During the same period, confirmed cases were all from 12 LGAs in Kano State. Nine (9) deaths were recorded from all the confirmed cases (CFR: 10.1 percent).
“Between December 1, 2022 to the third week in January, a total of 253 suspected cases were reported: Kano (169), Yobe (78), Lagos (5) and Osun (1) States.
“Of the suspected cases reported, 111 (42.1 percent) were confirmed (8 lab-confirmed and 103 clinically compatible), 18 (7.1 percent) were discarded, 40 (15.3 percent) are pending classification while 84 (33.2 percent) were unknown.
“Majority (91.9 percent) of the confirmed cases occurred in those aged 2 to 14 years. A total of 22 deaths (CFR = 19.8 percent) were recorded among confirmed cases. Only 12 (10.8 percent) out of 111 confirmed cases were fully vaccinated with a diphtheria toxin-containing vaccine.”